Monday, December 05, 2005

Where's The Real "McCain" These Days?

Arianna Huffington says it all in her piece about the ghostly appearance of the Faux "McCain" on Meet The Press yesterday:
In fact, the transmogrification of McCain into "McCain" has been progressing unabated all year. Had Russert bothered, he could, for example, have asked McCain about his recent endorsement of a constitutional amendment in Arizona to ban gay marriage and deny benefits to unmarried couples of any kind. Or his new-found support of teaching "intelligent design" in schools. Or his 100 percent approval rating from Phyllis Schlafly's "Eagle Forum." Or his recent meeting with Jerry Falwell, the man McCain called in 2000 "a peddler of intolerance." Or his support for Senator Lindsay Graham's bill to limit the right to habeas corpus. Or his recent appearance at a fundraiser for Alabama Lt. Governor candidate George Wallace, Jr. who has given four speeches to the white supremacist group the Council of Conservative Citizens.

As John Dickerson wrote recently in Slate:

This support for Bush is yielding support for McCain in turn. Just three weeks ago, McCain's political action committee took in $1 million in just one week. Many of the professional Republicans who helped to kill his candidacy when he ran against Bush in 2000 now write him $5,000 checks—the full amount allowed by law.

But none of these facts were brought up by Russert on this morning's Meet the Press. Perhaps it's too early to say whether "McCain" will triumph over McCain. Maybe the real McCain will return. But the only way I see that happening is if what's happened to him is at least acknowledged. If he's allowed to shill for Bush and kowtow to the religious right without paying any price, without Russert and others in the mainstream media even challenging him, you can bet we've seen the last of the real McCain.

It's a shame that he seems to want to be the captain of the new Bullshit Express, but that doesn't mean we have to go along for the ride.